Highly customised solutions that have no ‘platform’ that can be leveraged to do some of the development setup require a complete customised solution. Online portals with very specific functionality related to data-flow, data capture and how information is filtered, displayed used and interacted with by the online user.

These are often very large websites that have very, very large databases behind them, and whilst they may have begun as a platform-based solution, they have outgrown that platform and have either been redeveloped from the ground-up or the initial platform has been stripped right back and completely customised.

PHP is an open-source language that is very common online. It allows for highly customised solutions to be developed, and for data to be pushed-pulled across a system or into (and out of) other external systems.

This can be useful if a company has a very specific set of requirements in mind, and requires data to be moved around several parts of the website, or in and out of several internal systems (such as accounts, a CRM, or a database of current clients)

Developing a system using PHP allows a complete solution to be scoped, visualised, wire-framed and built to 100% of the initial specifications.

It is vital that these initial specifications are teased out during an initial scoping session so the end solution does not diverge from the requirements.

Many portals built in this way fall into the “buyer / seller” model, where there are two sets of users. A portal like eBay for example falls into this category since there are those who buy and sell product within the marketplace with all information being tracked against a user’s account.

This is an extreme example of a portal because the eBay site is twenty years in the making, has a global user-ship into the millions and cost multiple millions of dollars to build and maintain.

Educational departments, schools and universities are prime examples of where a custom portal is the best solution since it can manage course data, timetables, reporting and submissions through a secure system that behaves differently for every user. Users can be students, teachers or administrators.

These sorts of solutions are typically complex integrated systems with different types of data attached to different user levels. Maintaining this data is critical to keeping the system functioning correctly. A custom solution is the only way to effectively do this. Opting for a “platform” to develop on, or selecting the wrong sort of framework to build from can lead to problems during the development process because certain functionalities may not be able to be integrated into the system without breaking another part of it.

Projects such as these are long-term and take months to build. Companies, organisations and institutions requiring a solution like this should begin such a project with their end vision in mind.

Highly complicated portal-developments are not terribly different from a software-solution. Both are data-driven and behave differently to different users based on the data they require to see / use and their level of access. It goes without saying that a custom solution requires a very high level of security to protect the data and details of users.


We grow businesses through considered digital strategies and measurable outcomes. Contact Us Site Marketing Solutions are a Melbourne based, full service digital agency specialising in search marketing and online development.

Site Marketing Solutions are a Melbourne based, full service digital agency specialising in search marketing and online development.

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